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What aspect of Jesus’ life was so prominent that His disciples asked Him to teach them? It was one that Jesus consistently modeled for them:

It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” – Luke 11:1

Jesus graciously acquiesced to their request, but He did not stop there. Jesus realized that you can have a pattern for prayer, but if you don’t have a proper understanding of God, then you may not pray:

Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. – Luke 11:5-8

The failure to show hospitality in this culture was a serious breach of etiquette. A cursory reading of this parable may lead one to think that the key to answered prayer is our persistence. Does this story teach us that we must overcome God’s reluctance to answer our prayers? The verses after this parable however, reveal that God is eager to answer our prayers. The key to unlocking this parable is the word translated persistence. This word literally means without shame. We must understand that answered prayer is not dependent upon our ability to overcome God’s reluctance, but it is believing in a God who hears, understands, and even exceeds our requests. Is that your view of God? If a reluctant friend will answer our request, then how much more will God respond to our need:

So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. – Luke 11:9-10

It is folly to think that all other blessings come from God, but prayer, upon which everything else depends, must be obtained by our personal effort. God’s good gifts are the inheritance of every believer:

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” – Luke 11:13

Our God is the God of the how much more! When you realize God’s love for you, then prayer is viewed as a privilege rather than an obligation.

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